In this 6th Grade lesson, we study the Transfiguration of our Lord on Mount Tabor.
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The Transfiguration by Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo
This event foreshadowed Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension.
Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then, Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, “This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him.” Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.
When Jesus asked His apostles who they thought He was, Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” From that moment, Jesus began to tell His disciples that He was going to have to die. The apostles didn’t understand this. In fact, they barely understood that He was the Messiah. In order to make this clearer for them, Jesus chose to show His glory to His three most important apostles — Peter, James and John. He took them to Mount Tabor, and His face and clothes became dazzling with light. Moses and Elijah appeared with Him, and just as at Jesus’ baptism, a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, my Chosen. Listen to Him.”
Once Peter, James and John saw Jesus in all His glory, they knew that He truly was the Son of God. Moses and Elijah stood for the Law and the Prophets of the Jewish people. Jesus was the fulfillment of both. The voice and the cloud represented the Father and the Spirit, and so the whole Trinity was there. By seeing that He truly is God, Peter, James, and John would know that Jesus would choose to die. The Son of God had the power and strength to overcome Pontius Pilate and his soldiers. If Jesus didn’t want to accept that His death was needed to save humanity, He wouldn’t have. Peter, James, and John now knew that His death would be His choice.
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